GAYS MILLS - I was a little late to the game this year, when it came to getting to the Gays Mills Pool. And if I have one regret for the summer, it is that I didn’t spend every day I had free there–because it’s pretty dang nice!
The Village of Gays Mills and the Friends of the Gays Mills Pool have put an awful lot of work into saving our cool blue oasis–something that was desperately needed.
We had gone there last year, and things were looking quite rough. The floor was chipping off and piling up, the filters weren’t working so bugs were piled up and the baby pool was closed a lot of the time. It wasn’t a pretty sight. But now, thanks to some generous donors and hard workers, it’s looking better than ever. And, it’s full of happy swimmers, I might add.
We’ve been hesitant to get Thatcher all too wet in the pool because of the tubes in his ears. I know a little water is okay, but I kind of live in fear of a reoccurring ear infection after all the trouble we went through.
Waylon on the other hand, is just a mere eight months old, so he’s really just now entered an age where being in the water isn’t half bad. In fact, the kid loves it.
When we took him to Hayward, we had found this little inflatable baby boat, we plopped him in and floated him leisurely with us in the lake. With in minutes the little dude was fast asleep. Lulled into relaxation by the gentle waves of Round Lake.
Relaxation wasn’t the name of the game this last Sunday, when we went to the pool. Waylon enjoyed his newly found freedom in the baby boat and motored himself all over the place- with a touch of reckless abandon, as he bravely paddled up to his wildly splashing brother.
He held his own in his little floater–chasing after toys and the other kids and going back and forth between his mom and dad until he exhausted himself. It was pretty hilarious to watch as he kicked his legs like a little baby duck trying to keep up with its mama.
Thatcher got all warmed up for the adventure in the baby pool as well. He donned his bright pink sea horse water wings, courtesy of the clearance aisle and crab-walked through the water in style.
When he finally felt brave enough, he decided to take on the big pool as well.
If you haven’t been to the pool in recent years, you may be excited to hear there are now proper stairs to help you ease into the shallow end. The stairs were very helpful for a cautious toddler, who was dipping in at a snail’s pace.
Once he was in, equipped with lifejacket style water wings, a pool noodle, goggles, a hat, a swim shirt and fancy yellow swim trunks he was ready.
“I WANNA GO OVER THERE!” the waterlogged toddler squealed, pointing at the 10-foot end near the diving board. For over there was his brave, and talented swimmer of a cousin, Romeo.
Romeo is and always has been a pool rat. Some summers, it would probably be hard to find him not permanently wrinkled from the water, with a deep line on his forehead from where his goggles have embedded into his skin.
So we set off on our journey across the pool to go see Romeo in the deep end.
I may have shared in this column before that I am no Olympic swimmer. I can barely swim enough to keep myself alive, and mostly enjoy just treading water where I can confidently put my feet down and stand, usually in the three-foot area. However, Thatcher was feeling brave and wanted to bob on over there, so bob on over we did.
Once he was over there though, and realized he couldn't jump off the diving board himself, and had to stay out of the way of the kids who were, the luster was lost and he immediately demanded to resume business in the baby pool. So once again, I pushed the little bobber through the pool, this time while he shouted “LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY I’M A SEA TURTLE!” – all the while I was behind him, barely keeping my own head above water.I hope we are able to squeeze in one, or maybe if we’re lucky even two, more trips to the Gays Mills Pool. I hope as support continues to rally they are also able to continue to just make the experience better. If you have some time and are looking to beat the last of the summer heat, take advantage of one of our community’s great assets and get down to the pool!